Grouping and Collating
4-Up Egg Carton: This system is designed to group containers prior to a case packer, bundler, pick & place, or wrapper. Many companies would not normally think of using timing screws to handle perfectly square containers like is pictured in the video. To ensure that the containers are properly controlled, Morrison uses shingle infeed rails to properly separate containers. To create the required groups of containers, Morrison treats the group as one container, in the idea that each pocket will hold the appropriate amount of containers. One revolution of the timing screw will discharge one group.
Twisting and Grouping Timing Screws: This system was designed for an OEM in the pharmaceutical industry. The system took containers from bulk and inverted the containers 90 degrees so that the containers are riding directly on top of the timing screws. Once on top of the timing screws, the containers are then grouped into 3s or 5s for the robot pick & place system to follow the timing screw and pull the product directly off the top of the screws. While this system only runs one container size, there is still a change over because of the different pack patterns that are required.
Grouping/Collating/Sleeving: The customer came to Morrison to discuss their multipack febreeze line. Initially the plant was utilizing 32 people at hand packing stations, running 2, 3, and 4 packs. The operators/assemblers were putting the containers into a cardboard boot, and then sending the containers through a wrapping machine. The packaging process was extremely slow, labor intensive, and didn’t present the containers in an “attractive” package. Morrison offered a solution that replaced all of the assemblers and was capable of running a 2 pack, 3 pack, and 4 pack package (1 flavor, 2 flavor, or 3 flavor skews).
The video was taken during testing at Morrison’s plant, which is why there are random colors/flavors visible in the video. The initial 1-2 lane dividing screws separate containers for the different pack requirements. Once in the appropriate lanes, the containers are metered and oriented. If you look at the containers underneath the machine, it is visible that the containers are rotating/spinning. This takes place to lock the handles in a uniform orientation. Once oriented, the timing screws group the containers for the different pack formations. Once the containers are grouped, the overhead pucks/pallets lower and grab hold of the containers. These pucks maintain a tight package and control the containers as they are inverted to be upside down. Once upside down, a sleeve is applied to the package to keep the containers together. By applying the sleeve, Morrison was able to eliminate the cardboard boot. This not only saved the customer a lot of money, but also created a more attractive package because graphics could be placed directly on the sleeve.
Turning and Grouping for Pick and Place: This system accepts rectangle containers from a backlog and feeds them into a pick and place system with the proper grouping and orientation of containers. The pick and place needs to have groups of (3) containers wide side leading so that the package can be properly formed. The timing screws turn containers 90 degrees through manipulation of pitch and diameter of the timing screws. Once turned 90 degrees, the containers are then grouped into 3s.
Ice Cream Cone Denester: This video highlights yet another application in which most would not think of utilizing timing screws. Ice cream cones are very fragile and they must be handled carefully to make sure that they do not break/crack/etc. Prior to a bagging/wrapping machine, the ice cream cones need to be grouped with the correct count of cones to feed into the bagger/wrapper. Morrison utilizes timing screws that are designed to fit the appropriate amount of cones, and the flights/pockets of the screws pull the gap/spacing between cones so that they can be fed into the downstream equipment.